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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rude People...WHY?

I have worked with the public in various capacities for many years.  I don't know if my opinion of rudeness has altered due to my age or if, in fact, people are more rude in 2014 than they were ten years ago.  It just seems to me that people I worked with, or customers and clients were more considerate of others' feelings.  I have also noticed a change when observing interactions between family members. There is a certain insidiousness about this societal change that appears vaguely evil in its intent.

Rudeness is not a new concept by any means.  In fact, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, although there are 2 basic definitions of the word "rudeness", there are lists of synonyms, antonyms, related words, and near antonyms (that's a new category to me). (See

Did you know the first known use of the word "rudeness" occurred in the 14th century?  Apparently humanity overall was more civil in the years preceding the 14th century, although I doubt that.  When you consider that "writers" or chroniclers were few and far between in the preceding centuries, my opinion was that the word itself made its debut sometime during the 14th century in order to succinctly describe someones undesirable behavior.  Perhaps people tired of inventing related terms.  Whatever the reason, we now have one word that describes a multitude of unappealing behaviors.

It's a question of rudeness

You may wonder why I chose to write about rudeness today of all days.  Dear reader, the answer to this question can be found in an e-mail I received from a perfect stranger. I work in direct sales/MLM, and have come across a wide variety of rudeness.  It appears to be cross all of us in the industry need to bear.  The e-mail arrived yesterday in a response to an auto-responder e-mail. 

When people visit my website and complete a form requesting their name, e-mail address and phone number, an auto-responder system or CRM (Customer 
Relationship Manager software system) sends out a pre-written-email containing additional information about my company, the products, and my contact information. 

It is important that you understand the process because the individual who responded with a rude reply to me HAD to complete the form initially in order to ever receive an e-mail from me. The way I view this situation is that she ASKED to be contacted.  So, for her to turn it around and accuse me of bothering her seemed to me an extreme act of rudeness.

With all the technology available at our fingertips today, it's beyond my understanding why anyone would complete such a form unless they wanted additional information.  Seriously, why would you want all kinds of junk mail about a company or job in which you have no interest?

Every e-mail I send out has, at the bottom of the message, a link the recipient can use to unsubscribe from future contact.  This is because I work with a legitimate company offering a legal business opportunity.  Trust me, if my company was a pyramid scheme, it would not be that easy to opt out of further contact.

I send e-mails only to those who opt-in by way of completing a form or by giving me verbal consent during a conversation with me.  Even with family, friends and strangers who have opted-in, I realize that the recipients may decide they have no interest in the information.  That's fine.  My products or opportunity will not appeal to everyone.  I do not take it personally when people unsubscribe.  It's part of the business.  It is the same thing as walking into a brick and mortar business to look around, and replying "no thank you, just looking" to the question "May I help you?"

Using e-mail and telephone calls are how I contact prospective customers and partners.  I do not use e-mail or telephone calls to annoy others or to offend.

Does a response to another's rudeness mean you are also rude?

In my humble opinion, the answer to that would be "yes" as I would consider that to be lowering myself to that person's level.  It would change nothing, it would accomplish nothing.  In order to express my frustration with such behavior, I blog about the behavior.  It is not my intent to tell anyone how to respond in any given situation.  

My reason for today's post is to tell my kind readers that sometimes people are rude for their own reasons that have nothing to do with you personally.  I would suggest you not waste your own valuable time worrying about it. (Unless of course you were threatened in some way, then I'd suggest calling your lawyer or the police.)  

Accept that over which you have no control.  What you can control are your thoughts (your attitude) and the words that you say.  You may as well save yourself a lot of stress, live in each moment, and save yourself the aggravation.  Perhaps that is why people are more rude today. Perhaps they are frustrated over the lack of control they have in their lives.  Control is perception, not reality.  We would all do well to consider that.

Just in case you want to use another's words instead of your own to respond to rudeness, and happen to be signed up with "Goodreads" (it's free to sign up at, you can visit the website listed below. with its
quotes about rudeness.  Each quote is attributed to its author.  It's an interesting read.  I was just as surprised as you to find a page of quotes about rudeness.